Occupational health and safety – why it should be at the top of your agenda.

Pennington Logo Small

Being safe in your workplace should be a given fact, right?  Wrong! Despite organisations having a legal duty to put in place suitable arrangements to manage health and safety in the workplace, we come across many providers in the social housing sector that do not have the required systems in place that ensure compliance with the latest health and safety requirements and importantly provide assurance that their people are safe. This means workers are frequently being subjected to unnecessary risk every day.

Just this year, one housing association was ordered to pay £20,000 after it failed to protect its workers from hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS). The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said the organisation failed to adequately assess the risks to its staff from using vibrating tools, did not provide them with proper information or training, and did not undertake suitable and sufficient risk assessments. This could have been easily prevented through proper health and safety management. Can you afford the consequences of failing to meet the HSE’s standards?

The consequences of neglecting occupational health and safety in the workplace are significant:

  • Employee and resident safety risks
  • Criminal proceedings
  • Regulatory downgrades

The latest publication of the Social Housing Barometer found that 49% of housing associations identify health and safety as a top five risk. This means that over half of housing associations are not aware of the importance of prioritising health and safety management. The regulator’s most recent sector risk profile supported this fact, after it identified health and safety as increasing in importance for all housing providers and noted that boards need to understand and prioritise the specific issues they face in relation to this.

We believe occupational health and safety (employee and workplace safety) is a relatively unknown risk to providers, as it is not governed or managed with the same level of scrutiny as property compliance and tenant safety. Pennington Choices is here to help. Our health and safety consultants can undertake an in-depth review and assessment of your health and safety arrangements in order to ensure they are in line with HSG65. Our analysis will investigate and evidence how well your organisation is meeting the requirements by assessing your:

  • Written health and safety policies
  • Current arrangements for the effective planning and organisation of all actions identified in your risk assessments
  • Employee training on how to manage risk

We can produce a detailed roadmap of the steps needed to be taken in order for your organisation to be able to both meet, and evidence, all health and safety requirements. Our health and safety consultants will identify where improvements need to be made, supporting your organisation with the implementation of an action plan and auditing progress to provide assurance to leadership and boards.

Our health and safety reviews assess the central control, governance, and auditing of health and safety compliance and performance and ensure it is in line with HSG65. To receive specialist advice and guidance from one of our health and safety consultants, contact Sarah Davies  to find out more.

Back to blog